interview


ASSIA: “DSL will adopt a central role in cellular and WiFi infrastructure construction”

John Cioffi, CEO of ASSIA

We speak to John Cioffi, CEO of US firm ASSIA, which won the category ‘Broadband Access Network Technologies and Services – Fixed’ at this year’s Broadband InfoVision awards for its DSL Express software product.

Can you tell us a little more about your entry?

The ASSIA DSL Expresse software product enables DSL operators to extend their DSL service’s rate and reach and ensures the quality delivery of IP services, such as IPTV and other emerging Internet applications.

DSL profiles are complex and include many interacting factors, such as power levels and margins, bit rates, interleaving, and forward error correction schemes. Operators have traditionally defined a limited number of DSL network profiles that were selected manually using simple heuristics such as loop length.

Each loop is different, however, and the traditional manual process results in under-provisioned DSLs that have a speed lower than they can support or over-provisioned DSLs that have a speed higher than they can stably support. Under-provisioned lines lead to lost revenue opportunities for higher-speed services or for applications such as IPTV. Over-provisioned lines lead to higher maintenance costs and customer complaints.

ASSIA’s DSL Expresse automatically optimises each DSL’s profile before DSL customers see a problem. DSL Expresse is DSLAM-vendor neutral and works well with all major DSLAM brands, while boasting a capability of reprofiling a million lines per hour to allow maximum DSL speeds and stability.

DSL Expresse also produces detailed line-level and network-level diagnostics for both the copper plant and DSL service. Technicians can see entire neighbourhoods and respond quickly to calls without extensive field diagnosis, thereby improving customer satisfaction with a quick response time and lower maintenance costs.

What recent industry developments does it specifically address?

Service providers feel increasing pressure to deliver high-quality IPTV and other bandwidth-intense Internet services. As DSL currently provides two-thirds of global consumer broadband, and continues to maintain that share, service providers must manage their DSL networks in order to be able to compete and offer the 100+ Mbps speeds that deliver the capacity customers demand. Those service providers who can leverage their existing DSL infrastructure with ASSIA technology gain a huge competitive advantage.

ASSIA DSL Expresse integrates easily with the service provider’s network and supports these operators’ multi-vendor DSLAM equipment environment. More and more service providers worldwide recognise that ASSIA DSL Expresse is their best economic path to provide exciting new broadband services that meet growing customer demand for emerging services.

Why do you think your entry was selected for this award by the judges?

We believe ASSIA DSL Expresse was selected because of its unique ability to address the many challenges facing service providers today. As consumers worldwide increasingly expect high-quality, ultra-fast and extremely reliable Internet service, ASSIA DSL Expresse satisfies service providers’ need for a software solution that offers proven field results uniquely achieved by ASSIA:

•    Up to 60 percent reduction in calls, dispatches and churn
•    Up to 40 percent increase in service speed and reach
•    Up to US$ 500,000 savings per year in a 1 million line network with the ASSIA Power Management module
•    DSLAM vendor independence – no expensive lock in
•    Scalability demonstrated in more than 20 million lines and up to 1 million lines per hour

What do you see as being the biggest single challenge to the broadband industry in the next few years, and why?

Over the next five years, consumers will demand faster and more reliable service, and networks will be challenged to support rapidly emerging bandwidth-intensive, high-quality applications like IPTV. As DSL continues its two-thirds share of the consumer broadband market worldwide, service providers are recognising the high-performance potential and attractive economics of deploying xDSL and adopting advanced DSL management platforms such as ASSIA DSL Expresse to deliver performance and a positive network investment return

Furthermore, the increasing demand for mobile communications portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, means DSL will adopt a central role in cellular and WiFi infrastructure construction by providing backhaul.

What plans do you have to improve it in the coming months?

ASSIA experts are constantly developing new software technologies that service providers can rely on to improve the speed and reach of service and lower costs. In addition to a mobile application for smartphones designed to increase the productivity and ease of trouble calls, ASSIA’s next software release includes additional productivity boosting features, diagnostics and optimisation enhancements.

This year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards were announced during a gala dinner held aboard a river cruise in Paris on September 27th, 2011. For a complete list of winners, please click here

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